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Changing life for the German people


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What effect did the Nazis' racial and religious policy have on life in Germany?

The Nazis' racial policy

The Supreme Race and ideas about the Aryan superiority

Hitler’s argument was that the race needed to be purified, therefore some people had to be prevented from having children, for example, gay people, black people, gypsies, people with a mental illness and people with a physical disability.

1936 - Lebensborn established

Lebensborn was a maternity home for unmarried mothers. Aryan women would meet SS officers here, in the hope of having pure children, ie pure Aryans.


Jews have been subject to persecution (anti-Semitism) in Europe for hundreds of years, especially in Russia. The Nazis exploited this hatred in election campaigns.

1933 – 550,000 Jews lived in Germany.

1939 – 280,000 had left Germany, eg Einstein went to the USA in 1933.

The increasing persecution of Jews between 1933–39

1933AprilBoycott of Jewish shops and businesses. Jews banned from working as teachers and judges. The SA stand outside Jewish shops, cafés and businesses to prevent customers from entering, and paint Jude on their windows.
1936AprilJews banned from working as doctors and dentists.
OctoberJews banned from being journalists.
1935JulyJews banned from being members of the armed forces.
SeptemberThe Nuremberg Laws – Jews didn't have the right to be German citizens. Not allowed to marry Aryans.
1936NovemberJews not allowed to say "Heil Hitler".
1938JulyID cards for Jews.
AugustJews forced to use Jewish forenames such as Israel and Sara.
NovemberOn the 9th and 10th of November the Nazis destroyed 7,500 Jewish shop windows, burned 400 synagogues and arrested 30,000 Jews and sent them to concentration camps. This was Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass). The Jews were forced to pay for all the damage. Following this event, the Jews knew that Hitler wouldn't stop until he had destroyed them.
DecemberJews forced to sell their businesses.
1939JanuaryHitler's speech in the Reichstag. On 30 January 1939 Hitler announced: "If the international Jewish financiers inside and outside Europe should succeed in plunging the nations once more into a world war, then the outcome will not be the victory of Jewry, but rather the annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe!"
FebruaryJews forced to give their metals and jewels to the Nazis.


Anti-Semitism in Germany (PDF file 477 kb)


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